Dr James Dingley, BSc (hons), MA, M Phil, PhD, PGCE
James Dingley is a political sociologist, part-time academic and has his own consultancy (Cybernos Associates) which specializes on terrorism and political violence, with specific reference to ethno-national and religious conflict. He has taught at the Universities of Ulster, Kurdistan-Hawler and Queen’s University, Belfast and is a visiting lecturer at several overseas universities and military academies. He has written four books on nationalism, religion and terrorism and publishes regularly in the major international academic and professional journals in his field. In addition he is a regular international media commentator on domestic and international conflicts.
Director of Research
Dr Peter Kolarz, D.Phil, AHEA
Peter Kolarz has recently completed his doctorate in sociology at Sussex University and was editor in chief of the journal Studies in Social and Political Thought from 2007-2009. His interests and expertise include political economy, political sociology, the study of globalisation and the philosophy and sociology of political platforms, including most notably of New Labour's Third Way.
Director of Operations
Annika Nestius-Brown lives in Saintfield, the birthplace of Francis Hutcheson, and has long been an advocate of his legacy in Northern Ireland. Annika is an experienced administrator with a comprehensive portfolio of skills gained through knowledge-based posts in academia, media and business. Her international consultancy work include overall organisational support, information analysis, event planning and strategic marketing.
Director of Communication and Political Consultant
The Lord Laird of Artigarvan (John Laird) is an independent member of the House of Lords. He received a Peerage in 1999 after a career mostly in public relations. John Laird was educated at the Royal Belfast Academical Institution. In 1963 he joined a local bank and served as a clerk, inspector and latterly a computer programmer. In 1970 John succeeded his father as the Northern Ireland Member of Parliament for the St Anne's division of Belfast. He has also been a member of the first NI Assembly. In 1976 he created his own PR Agency which is still trading in Belfast today. As one of the first such consultants in the Province, John was appointed as a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations and as one of only two visiting professors of PR in the UK. Recently he was awarded a Life Time Achievement Award from the industry. Lord Laird was for many years chairman of the Ulster Scots Agency and is recognised as a major advocate for the culture and identity. In 2010 he was appointed chairman of the Azerbaijan European Advisory Board which has allowed his interest in that area to flourish.